Monday, August 30, 2010

Flaws in K21 infantry fighting vehicle design confirmed

By Jung Sung-ki

Critical flaws in the design of the K21 amphibious infantry fighting vehicle have been found following an investigation of the up-to-date vehicle, one of which sank during a river-crossing exercise July 29, an official at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Wednesday.A soldier died when the 25-ton vehicle sank. This was the second time that a K21 has sunk since the vehicle entered service last November after 10 years of development.

According to investigators, a pump in the vehicle doesn’t work at its maximum river crossing speed of 7.8 kilometers per hour. The pump is supposed to displace 175 liters of water.The K21 has often been referred to as a key export item in the coming years. Doosan DST and DAPA have said the vehicle offers better firepower, mobility and survivability than the U.S. Army's M2A3 and Russia's BMP-3.

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